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GE turbine collapses at NextEra's latest US wind farm

GE believes failure of recently-installed machine is 'isolated incident' as investigation continues

GE Renewable Energy said it believes a turbine collapse in the US state of New Mexico is “an isolated incident” as an investigation continues.

The turbine OEM is working with project operator NextEra Energy Resources to find out why the turbine collapsed like a crumpled straw at the Casa Mesa Wind Energy Center in eastern New Mexico, which only entered commercial operation in the fourth quarter of last year.

“Recently a GE turbine collapse was reported at the Casa Mesa wind farm in New Mexico. There were no injuries, and we believe this to be an isolated incident,” GE Renewable Energy said in a statement sent to Recharge. “We have a team onsite working closely with the wind farm operator to determine the root cause of this incident.”

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NextEra Energy Resources spokeman Bryan Garner confirmed to Recharge that the turbine failed around noon on 16 February at the 51MW project.

“We monitor our sites remotely, 24/7, and saw that it was not operating properly," he said, adding that the other 20 turbines at the site are operating normally.

No other property was damaged, Garner said.

"Safety is our top priority at NextEra Energy Resources," he said. "We have been in contact with the landowner and the local sheriff's office and safely secured the site."

Casa Mesa supplies electricity to utility Public Service Company of New Mexico.

NextEra is the country’s largest owner-operator of wind power with 15.05GW gross nameplate capacity, according to its website. It has two other operating wind farms in the desert southwestern US state.

Note: Update adds comment from GE and NextEra.

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